Sunday, January 9, 2011

Liarsville, AK

I've been to Alaska, more than once. I actually have relatives who live there. If you are looking for a great vacation spot, it's hard to beat. From the sweltering hot streets of Fairbanks to the icy chill of Glacier Bay, it is a land of contrasts and natural beauty. The only problem is that it is literally too big to see everything worth seeing, even in a month.

One of the interesting towns I have been to is Skagway. Well, perhaps it's not the most interesting place to be, but it is the first incorporated city in Alaska. Skagway is a tiny town in a narrow glacial valley (population 862, although technically it covers 464 square miles). It is a 45 minute ride (by propeller plane) from Juneau. Unlike Juneau, which can only be reached by air or sea, Skagway can be reached by car, being a mere 110 miles from the Alaskan Highway.

It became a boom town in the great gold rush of 1898 due to its proximity to the White Pass that led to the Klondike gold fields. The Canadian government required that anyone traveling into Canada that way had to carry with him one ton of supplies to avoid starvation over the winter. Needless to say, purchasing the supplies and then climbing the steep, icy mountain pass with them made it very difficult for the prospectors.

All the major newspapers of the day (aka the main stream media) wanted to cover the gold rush, and sent reporters. But many of them were reluctant to endure the hardships of following the prospectors over that pass and then coming back with stories. So they set up camp at the base of the pass and invented the stories. That camp is still known as Liarsville today.

So when I hear all the brouhaha about how the main stream media has failed us in the coverage of the shooting of Gabrielle Gifford and others in Arizona I just have to thing "the more things change, the more they stay the same." I hope you will ponder this for a few minutes, and them join me in prayer for the victims of this violence, and their families and friends. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.


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